Romney Names Pro-Life Senator as Possible GOP Running Mate

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 22, 2011   |   1:24PM   |   Washington, DC

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has gotten specific for the first time about a potential vice-presidential running mate should he receive the GOP nomination for president, and Romney mentioned a pro-life advocate.

ABC News reports that Romney was queried at a town hall forum and said he has a list of more than a dozen people on his short list of potential vice-presidential candidates, but dropped the name of one pro-life U.S. senator from New Hampshire as a possibility.

“I have no names for you, it’s presumptuous, I’m not the nominee,” Romney began, then adding, “There probably are 15 names of people, including Kelly Ayotte.”

“We have a deep bench,” Romney said of the many potential running mates. “This year is really exceptional and whoever our nominee is will be able to choose a remarkable, superb person to be the vice presidential contender.”

ABC News indicates Ayotte was asked on the Sean Hannity radio show about becoming a running mate and she deferred, saying other potential running mates for the eventual nominee would be good names to pick.

“I have to say, we have some great people out there, you mentioned Marco Rubio, I think he’d be an excellent choice,” she said, mentioning Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell or New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Ayotte was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, an election cycle that saw Republicans take over the House — electing more pro-life advocates than ever before — and coming closer to taking over the Senate from pro-abortion Democrats. Ayotte would, if Romney were the nominee and she were named his running mate, become the second pro-life woman following the selection of Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential elections.

Should Ayotte become the vice-presidential nominee and should Romney defeat pro-abortion President Barack Obama next November, she would become the first woman vice-president and delight pro-life advocates who would undoubtedly be excited to unite behind another pro-life woman candidate breaking the so-called glass ceiling.

Since her election to the Senate, Ayotte has compiled a strongly pro-life record and has supported a number of different pro-life efforts, including a bill to ensure Obamacare, if it stands after a Supreme Court decision next year, does not fund abortions.

“Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to fund a practice that millions of Americans find deeply troubling,” she said earlier this year. “While repealing the national health care law remains my ultimate goal, stopping federal money from financing abortions is an urgent priority. In addition to safeguarding taxpayer resources, this bill also preserves the Hyde-Weldon conscience protections for physicians who choose to not provide abortion services.”

During the 2010 election, Ayotte enjoyed the support of the Susan B. Anthony List and National Right to Life Committee.

“New Hampshire families deserve the pro-life feminine leadership Kelly Ayotte has already demonstrated in her position as New Hampshire’s first female Attorney General,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the SBA organization. “Kelly is committed to rescinding taxpayer funding of abortion in health care. She has expressed her strong determination to be a vocal advocate for women and unborn children in abortion debates on the floor of the U.S. Senate.”

Ayotte has served the state of New Hampshire for five years as its first female Attorney General.

In 2004, she fought an attempt by Planned Parenthood to challenge the New Hampshire Parental Notification Prior to Abortion Act “requiring parental notification before abortions may be performed on unemancipated minors.”

The First Circuit court ruled the law unconstitutional but she appealed the case to the Supreme Court, over the objections of the governor, in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Following her aggressive litigation in defense of the law, the Court remanded the earlier ruling, saying that “States have the right to require parental involvement when a minor considers terminating her pregnancy.”

Prior to that, Ayotte served as Deputy Attorney General and helped her husband Joe, an Iraqi war veteran, to create and run a small business.